Paint Killing

Whilst working on my EC chaplin’s cloak I noticed that some of the paint was starting to the rise off the model. I imagine that something stopped the base layer and the highlights from drying properly.

Using a brush and some water I managed to get most of the paint off the cloak but there were still some stubborn areas of paint left. As I wanted the cloak to be as smooth as possible these had to go before I repainted the cloak.

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If I could avoid it I didn’t want to strip the rest of the paint off the model so I decided that I’d give Scale 75’s aptly named ‘PaintKiller’ a try.

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Before buying the Paintkiller, from Elment Games, I did a few internet searches for reviews and couldn’t find any. Now I’ve been using the Scale 75 Scale Colour range, and they’re excellent, so this gave me some confidence that the PaintKiller would be a quality product.

The other day my Paintkiller arrived and I have to say I was fairly excited, well as excited as a grown man get over a bottle of clear liquid that wouldn’t get me intoxicated if drank it. Now one thing I’ve learnt in the few years I’ve been modeling is to always read the instructions and in this instance I’m glad I did as Paintkiller can only kill paint on resin or metal products. I have to say this came as a bit of a blow as I was after a miracle product that would remove paint from a plastic model.

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The other reason I was a little bit narked was that I’d checked both the Scale 75 website and the retailers site and there was no mention on either about the restrictions on use. For my part I was probably being a little naive by thinking that a 100% plastic model safe paint stripper had been developed but I live in hope.

I do have a resin Dreadnaught that needs stripping and given an EC colour scheme so I can use the paint killer on that but for the plastic Chaplin I’m unsure of what to do. I will probably try cleaning the cape up a little more and then re-paint the cape OR I could find a plastic safe method of stripping the whole model and paint it all again OR as a last resort buy the model again from eBay as everyone is splitting the sets up.

 

Epilogue

Test 1 – Plastic

So the other night I thought ‘fuck it, I’m going use that Paint Killer on the Chaplin” so I made a little PaintKiller bath, dunked him and watched in amazement as the paint just fell off him within seconds. I used an old toothbrush to get to the paint in the creases of the model but other than that it needed no help. As you can see from the piccy the model hasn’t melted, exploded or gained superpowers. In short I’m super impressed with Paintkiller on a plastic model! Oh Scale 75 I think I love you…. please don’t break my heart because you have it now.

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Test 2 – Resin

I picked up a Contempator Relic Dreadnought when I first got back into the hobby, it was, and sadly still is my biggest Forgeworld purchase which will now obviously change as I’ve started collecting Emperor’s Children. I don’t know if I got over excited by painting a Forgeworld model but in short I really messed the paint job up. I wasn’t happy with it at the time and each time I’ve looked at it since it seems to have gotten worse (like some 30k picture of Dorian Grey, oh wait that story has already been plagerised in Fulgrim).

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From my earlier Paintkiller plastic test I had around 3/4 of the bottle left which I poured into a disposal cup and then I part submerged the model. I let the dread soak for around five minutes after this time I took the model out and turned him around so that the other area would get chance to soak. I then started to work on the model with a tooth brush.

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As you can see the paint comes off easily, even if I does look like an alien that’s just burst from your stomach. The only issue I had was that the PaintKiller quickly became saturated with paint so that everytime I dipped the brush I inadvertently added a thin wash off diluted paint and Paintkiller over the model. This wasn’t a big issue but it did make it hard to see were the stubborn bits of paint were.

It took a bit of scrubbing to get the paint off especially in the model recesses but eventually it moved. Once the model was scrubbed I rinsed it under the tap. If I’m honest, the model could probably do with another wash to get rid of the odd red tint but I’m hoping that when I apply the base coat there will be no hint to its former life.
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Overall, I’m really happy with the Paintkiller as it removed all the paint on both plastic and resin without destroying the models or any details. As plastic is not listed on the instructions as being safe to use with Paintkiller then I would be very careful if you do use it on plastic. Add a little, don’t leave it to soak and scrub with a brush.

On a final note please wear gloves when using this stuff as your skin will melt.

04 – Forever Autumn – Building a Base

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Basing models is something I tend to rush. For me it’s normally the last step in the process and comes after I’ve completed the model which means I’m thinking about the next model and not the one I need to finish. With this in mind I decided that for my Emperor’s Children I’d make the bases in conjunction with the models.

The next decision was what type of base would match my pre-heresy Emperor’s Children, industrial, lava, snow, swamp or grass? In the end I went for a tiled derelict temple. I looked at resin bases but decided against this as I enjoy having a little money in my wallet. This led me to start trawling YouTube for do-it yourself basing videos. After watching a lot of dross I came across this video and decided that the method of creating a tiled floor looked easy, effective and a hell of a lot cheaper than resin bases.

The first step was to mark up 1cm x 1xcm squares on an old Warhammer box. After spending what seemed like an eternity cutting up a warsphinx box I eventually had enough tiles to begin gluing them to the base. For the tactical marine bases I decided to keep things simple so the tiles were glued directly to the base. For the larger terminator bases I added the hero of basing material cork. The cork added a physical depth and also distinguished the more costly models.

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I then glued the tiles to the top of the cork in a fairly even tile pattern. Once the glue was dry I used a craft knife to trim the overhanging tiles. I then removed and lifted some of the tiles to add to the sense of age, decay and abandonment to the base. Once this was done I added some grit to the base area of the cork and random piles on the tiles to further add to the abandoned feel. The base was then primed black.

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The next decision was around the colour scheme for the tiles. Originally I was thinking of making a dark green and black harlequin pattern but decided against this I thought it would probably end up being too dark. I then started to think about the overall theme of my Emperor’s Children, they’re still a loyalist legion but standing on the cusp of their fall into chaos. This led to me becoming a little poetic and thinking of my Emperor’s Children as being in the autumnal season of their service to the Emperor. To reflect this I thought I’d go with autumnal colours on the tiles so a deep red and yellow. To further reflect this I wanted to add some autumnal flocking to the base.

I then started to paint the full base using Scale 75 Walnut. The cork area was then dry brush highlighted with Scale 75 Tenere Yellow. For the tiles I went with Scale 75 Deep Red lightly mixed with the walnut and Scale 75 Tenere Yellow mixed with walnut and painted in an alternate pattern. These colours looked the most autumnal to me. After this a light drybrush of Scale 75 Rainy Grey over the tiles to pick out the tile edges.

The last element was to add some autumnal colour flocking to give the impression of fallen leaves.

I think the base complements the model nicely, what are your thoughts?

 

Genesis of a Painting Daemon

Bilbo just knocked his last  bottle of Devlan Mud over

Bilbo just knocked his last bottle of Devlan Mud over

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, painting miniatures. You buy one model, and if you don’t keep your wallet closed, there’s no knowing what you might paint.”

Bilbo’s hobby advice.

I’ve exchanged tweets with a few of my twitter followers about the pictures of my miniatures which I post under the #warmongers, #MiniatureMonday and #WIPWednesday hashtags. Most of the people I’ve spoken too are involved with the hobby but some are people who follow me on twitter for different reasons (my charm, razor sharp wit, dashing good looks, magnetic personality, beer nonsense and general moaning to name but a few). I’ve noticed over the past few months that several of my non-hobby followers have spoken to me about my miniatures and have said that they’d thought about getting some models in the past but have never taken that next step.

I enjoy painting models, it helps me unwind and relax and it seems a shame that some people think “I wouldn’t mind to trying that” but then never get any further. I believe part of the issue is that there’s a hell of lot of things to get from a specialised shop. If you’re totally new to the hobby to it all it can be very daunting.

The aim of this blog, therefore, is to provide a starting place for people who are interested in painting miniatures but have no idea where to start. I’ll cover what basic things you need to get and hopefully the cheapest way to get your hands on the godies. I’ve been painting miniatures now for just over a year so hopefully all my initial problems will be fresh in my mind.

1GD

The first stop…

The first step with painting miniatures is also the hardest and it involves going to a hobby shop. For most people this will be a Games Workshop store as they are in most major town centers. You can get almost everything here that you will need to start the hobby, models, paints brushes, tools and primer. It sounds like the most ideal place to start but it’s not the place I get the bulk of my supplies from. To get all the basics you require you to start painting you will need to invest a little cash and buying direct for Games Workshop is notoriously expensive. If you buy your equipment from an independent model shop you will be will save around 15-25% off Games Workshop price as well as having access to other manufactures models and paints.

I’m going to plug Elemental Games here, cheap, massive stock range, a quick and reliable service and you earn store credit with each purchase. They have a shop and an amazing website too. If you do buy from Elemental Games then use promo code STE978 on the payment screen and you’ll receive double store credit points and I’ll receive some too! Everyone’s a winner baby!

Also remember to read as many blogs and watch as many videos as you can on painting – not rude videos as you’ll go blind. The information in blogs and videos is free, you’ll pick up so many new techniques by just reading and watching this stuff, so make sure you do it.

I’ll list the Games Workshop price (GW) and the Elemental Games prices (EG) below.

The first step…

So you’ve now decided where you’re going to buy your gear from, the next step is which models are you going to buy. I paint Blood Angel and Orks, both from the Warhammer 40k range, but if you want to go either into fantasy or sci-fi have a look at the whole model range as one model may look fab whilst the rest are mediocre. Google the fluff and get a feeling for the whole army. Once you’ve decided what army you want to paint (and even play) then I’d recommend that you get some general infantry units as your first models. If you buy infantry units you’ll get a lot more models for your money meaning you’ll have more to practice on as you start to learn the basic painting techniques.

Space Marine Assault Squad – GW £20.50 / EG £17.42

If you have a little more money to invest, and you like the armies, then you can get one of the box sets for either the Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood featuring High Elves and Skaven or the Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box featuring Chaos Space Marines and loyalist Dark Angels Space Marines. You get a hell of a lot of models in each box and a self-contained game which you can use to bully your friends into getting into the hobby with. They do provide good value for money. If you’re only interested in one of the armies then you can put the others on eBay.

Island of Blood – GW £61.50 / EG £52.28

Dark Vengeance – GW £65 / EG £55.25

Step two…

Tools! There are lots of different tools for all manner of different purposes but you can actually get away with only needing a few to start with. At this point I would highly recommend that you do not buy any of the Games Workshop tools as they are really expensive. The build quality and finish are great but this is an area you can save on.

The first essential tool you will need are clippers to remove the model from the plastic spruce.

Clippers – GW£18 / EG £6.79

Next you’ll need a semi-circle file. One side is a semi-circle the other is flat. You’ll need a small plastic file to tidy your model by removing the mould line and smoothing over the areas where the model was attached to the spruce. Sadly, you can’t seem to buy individual files as they come in sets, you could, I suppose, use the spare files as bum scratchers.

Files – GW £12 / EG £4.49

Step 3…

Next you’ll want to glue your models together. Get them striking an epic pose and then use strong plastic glue.

Glue – GW £4.10 / EG £3.48

Step 4…

You’ll also need some primer. Once you’ve built your model you’ll want to prime it. If your model is going to be painted a dark colour scheme or mainly metallic then use a black primer. If your model is going to be of an overall lighter colour scheme, mainly flesh or light coloured robes then I’d use a white or grey primer. Primer allows the paint to stick and hold to the model. Bear in mind that you will only need a light coating over your model.

Primer – GW £9.80 / EG £8.33

Step 5…

You’ll need paints and there are lots to choose from. Paints are probably one of the cheapest things to buy but they can start getting expensive when you buy lots at once. I’d recommend searching the net for painting guides for the models you have chosen. Once you’ve read / watched a few you can buy the colours used to achieve the look you want.

Washes will soon become your best friend, they won’t let you down and they’re always there to make you look better than you actually are (which to be fair is better than what a real best friend does). Washes are a very easy way of adding shading to a model. They only contain a little pigment which allows you to see the painted area underneath but make the recesses of the model more shaded. The two washes I’d buy are Nulin Oil – a black wash that work great on metallic colours and Agrax Earthshade – a light brown shade that works well over fabrics.

GW – £2.40 a pot / EG – £1.99 a pot

Step 6…

Acrylic thinner, you need this, please purchase this. If you paint straight from the pot then your paint will be too thick and your model will look like it is melting. Paint that is too thick will destroy all the detail on the model and it’s probably the biggest pitfall for new painters. The acrylic thinner will thin your paint allowing for a thinner but smoother application of paint. It might take a little longer and a few coats to paint an area but the end results will be worth it. For each blob of paint on your pallet you’ll only need a small amount on thinner. You’ll want the paint to be the consistency of milk. The Emperor Demands thinned paint.

Paint for the Paint God!

Too Much Paint for the Paint God!

Acrylic thinner – GW Lahmian Medium £2.40 / EG £7.19

Step 7…

If you bought a paint set which included brushes then you’re set. If you didn’t then you’ll need a fine detail brush and a standard brush. To be honest you’d probably get away with just a fine detail brush (it’s the one I use 95% of the time).

Detail Brush – GW £3.75 / EG £2.98

Step 8…

All these things are free or you’ll have them in the house anyway, yippee!

  • An old mug to wash your brush in.
  • An old take-away tub lid to act as your palette.
  • Old newspaper to cover up the area where you’re painting. You will spill a paint pot and if you don’t have anything down to protect the table or carpet your significant other may hurt you as punishment and The Emperor won’t protect you.
  • Kitchen roll to dry your brush and remove excess paint.
  • Light for your painting area.
    • If you’re painting during the day then paint in front of a window. The natural light will help you see all the areas and stop you straining your eyes.
    • Painting in the evening (welcome to my world). Energy saving light bulbs are crap for painting under. Try and paint in the best lit room. You will also need to use a desk lamp to illuminate your work. If you take to the hobby then you need to invest in either daylight bulbs or a daylight lamp. It’s the kind that seamstresses use.

Things not to buy…

  • The White Dwarf monthly magazine. It’s expensive with no written content just nice pictures. Save the money and look for inspiring pictures on the internet.
  • Painting guides. Honestly, at a beginner level don’t bother. All the basic techniques and videos can be found on the net for free. There are some good guides I have bought but they have covered advanced techniques (airbrushing etc).
  • Too many models. If it’s not a limited edition then leave it in the shop. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a pile of models awaiting your attention as it puts pressure on you and then you’ll start to rush. If there’s only a limited run of the model then by all means get it and save it for the next project.

To get all the basics along with 10 tubs of paint  and a basic infantry model set you’re looking at splashing out £94.54 from Games Workshop and £70.50 from Elemental Games, a saving of £24.04.

The final and the most important thing you need for miniature painting is patience. Don’t rush the painting, take your time and enjoy the time you’re spending painting your model, you’re not thinking about work or life just the model. See your painting time as time to relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and listen to some music. It’s time wasted but in a constructive way.

If you do have a go at the hobby or you just want to ask a question then please add a comment.

Chaos Lord

Chaos Lord

One horny bastard

I’ve been working on my Chaos Lord for just over a month now, it’s in no way a difficult model to paint I’m just a really slow painter! I wanted the Chaos Lord to fit thematically with my Seekers of Slaanesh regiment but I didn’t want him to look exactly the same – he’s a Lord after all. I decided to stick with the purple and gold as the main colours but then mix and match everything else to add a little variety.

For the Warriors the purple came in with the capes and banner and the gold was the embossing on the shields. For the Chaos Lord I went for purple armour and flesh with gold embossing on the armour. I haven’t set the Warriors and the Lord out together yet but I’m sure that colour wise they’ll look as co-coordinated as superhero themed stag party.

So for those who would like to know how I painted my Chaos Lord then carry on reading.

I like to build up the major sections of the model first, paint them and then glue them together at the end. I paint for pleasure and am not concerned with how long a model takes to paint. I also thin all my paints before using them with the exception of the metallic colours as I can’t seem them to thin them down and keep their consistency.

After removing the model from the spruce and tidying the model up I primed it with Chaos Black GW spray paint. Is the spray paint still called that or is it Abaddon Black now?

I then painted the cape in Caliban Green* and washed it in Drakenhof Nightshade. Once the wash was dry I dry brushed the cape with a Caliban Green and Warpstone Glow mixture. I started off with just a hint of Warptone in the mix and thicker dry brushing to more Warpstone but just a hint of it on the brush. You will just want to be able to see it on your hand before applying it to the model.

*I’ll swear upon that bottle to be thy true subject;
for the liquor is not earthly.

Once the cape was painted I moved onto the scabbard and coin purse which I painted Guilliam Blue and then dry brushed the edge lightly with a lighter blue.

For the spear blade I used Warplock Bronze and then glazed with Lamenters Yellow. After that I dry brushed the edges with Runefang Steel.

After this I started on the armour. The base was painted with Xerus Purple and then washed in Druchii Violet. Once dry I dry brushed with Daemonette Hide for the highlights. For the gold trim I used an undercoat of Screaming Bell, followed by Balthsar Gold and then highlighted with Golden Griffon. Surprisingly, there was no dry brushing taking place for the gold sections.

The bone areas were painted with an undercoat of Privateer Press Menoth White followed by Agrax Earthshade Wash and the dry brushed with Tyrant Skull*. I wanted to make the shoulder guard look like an actual skull instead of a forged part of the armour so I painted that in the same way. When I glued the front and back of the model together the joint wasn’t flush so I painted over the gap with liquid green stuff – which is potted magic – and then painted as normal.

*otherwise know as the mother-in-law

For the flesh I undercoated with Daemonette Hide, I then added some Cadian Fleshtone to the Daemonette Hide and painted the highlights.

Lastly the base was painted with a base of Mechanicus Standard Grey and they dry brushed (but using a normal brush) with Celestra Grey. As the base is compact and busy with a number of skulls and rocks I decided not to flock it.

And that was that, complete, done and dusted. My next project will be some Chaos Knights! Blood for the Blood God!

I got all my bits from Element Games (twitter: ), they’re around 15-20% cheaper than buying direct from Gamesworkshop. If you do order from Element Games then use code STE978 as you’ll get double store credit and I’ll get a little too!

Everyone’s a winner… except for the losers of course!

The Green Knight

Over the last few months I’ve been steadily honing my painting skills by watching youtube videos, reading forums and other hobbyists tweets and of course practicing. I’ve definitely noticed a big improvement when I compare my first first Rohan Warrior – which I painted back in November – and my biggest project to date – The Green Knight. Overall, I’ve found the whole process, from assembling to painting, a lot of fun but it has been a steep learning curve and I’ve made a lot of school boy errors along the way.

So in this blog I will cover how I made the Green Knight. This blog in no way is intended to be a definitive guide on “how to paint The Green Knight” as quite frankly I’m nowhere near the standard of painter that can lecture others on how to paint. I want this post to be a “how I bumbled my way through my first project” guide.

So why did I chose The Green Knight as my first project? I suppose the biggest reason is that I love knights, medieval knights, fantasy novels, RPGs, magic wizards and swords. I also really love the Arthurian tale of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. So when I first saw the Green Knight miniature I knew it was the miniature for me, In short he looked epic.

There was however, three things that niggled my about the miniature which I knew I had to change. The first was that he was carrying a sword. The Green Knight does not carry a sword he carries “the mother of all axes“. This meant that I would have to carry out my first conversion if I wanted the Green Knight to look as I wanted him to. The second issue was the standard that attaches itself to the Green Knights back. I hated it, it just seemed a little too oriental for how I envisaged my knight, it had to go. Finally, the third issue was the armour and horse colour, everything had to be green as that’s how the Green Knight is described in the tale and not how Games Workshop had painted him in their promotional material.

“No soul had ever seen

a knight of such a kind –

entirely emerald green.

[…]

and in the other hand held the

mother of all axes,

a cruel piece of kit I kid you not:

the head was an ell in length at least

and forged in green steel with a glint finish”.

The construction of the model was fairly simple. I constructed the horse and knight but didn’t glue them together as I was going to paint them separately. After the construction I decided to tackle the conversion of the sword into an axe. I started by cutting the top off the sword I then thinned the sword blade down so that it looked like an axe shaft. After creating the shaft with a craft knife I smoothed off the sharp corners with a file. After this I attached an axe head to the shaft with a combination of “green stuff” and glue.

As I’m new to the hobby this was my first experience of using “green stuff”. I found it a difficult medium to work with. It was either too tacky or too sloppy, when I used it with gel to stop it sticking. It was akin to using chewing gum to sculpt with. I’m sure I’ll get more confident in it’s use the more I use it but if anyone has any tips then please share!

Once the glue and “green stuff” mixture had dried I then primed the model by using chaos black spray paint followed by a touch up with Imperial Primer where needed.

Primed knight

I started off by undercoating all the cloth sections with Privateer Press’ Menoth White. I diluted the paint with a small amount of paint thinner, I applied three coats of Menoth White to the cloth sections.

Like most people knew to the hobby I still struggle with getting the thickness of my paints right. It’s either too thick or too runny, like a toddlers nose, all of which are nightmares when painting faces. I have found that paint thinner seems easier to use than water as the consistency is easier to judge and the paint stays wetter for longer.

I then moved on to painting the base of the horse flesh. I wanted the colour to look as natural as possible, which is difficult with green horse flesh. The horse flesh mixture was made from 2 parts Straken Green, 1 part Warpstone Glow, and one part paint thinner. The flesh received two base coats.The kight

I then went back to the cloth parts of the horse and the knight. I wanted the cloth to be a fresh radiant green to contrast the dark green of the horse flesh. I mixed a 50/50 mixture of Averland Sunset and Straken Green with a small amount of paint thinner. The cloth areas received three coats of paint. Once the paint was dry I applied two thin layers of Coelia Greenshade to the cloth.

With the left over cloth paint mixture I added a small amount of Cadian Fleshtone and painted the horse flesh highlights. I painted the shaded areas with a small amount Coelia Greenshade.Horse

For the knights armour and shield I wanted an olive green colour that also looked metallic. To achieve this I mixed two parts Coelia Greenshade to 1 part Leadbelcher with a small amount of paint thinner. The armour received two coats followed by a coat of Coelia Greenshade when it was dry.Shield

I then went on to paint the the golden areas of the knight. I wanted a warm gold colour so I started by first applying a coat of Screaming Bell to areas the areas I eventually wanted to paint gold. Once the screaming bell had dried I mixed 1 part Averland Sunset to 2 parts Gehenna’s Gold and painted over the golden areas. Once dried I coated the gold areas with a coat of Agrax Earthshade and then a dry brush of Golden Griffon. I then dry brushed the raised detail on the knights shield with Averland Sunset followed by a dry brush of Golden Griffon. After that is was just a matter of painting a few details, the saddle, axe shaft etc and the painting of the knight was done. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the end result. If you have any hints and tips please feel free to leave a comment.The Green Knight